“Emptiness which is conceptually liable to be mistaken for sheer nothingness
"I'm being Winter," she told me..............
And the words struck me as so utterly right, I stopped there in my tracks.
We had started in the usual territory of polite entreaties, & general information gathering after a longish absence.
We gathered our coats closer to our chests and took a step further into the woods.
And, inside a moment, we had rounded the bend and entered upon this poetic turn of phrase.
In a culture that prides itself on ever more activity.
Ever more busy-ness.
Ever more to-do's & purchases & distractions & dramas both macro & micro.
In a world that calls us to live inside a perpetual Spring...
She was taking her own quiet stand...
Withdrawing into herself for a time.
Resting in the quietude of slumber, simplicity, Dreams.
Rather than filling the void of the season with a million tiny tasks & entertainments, she proposed something radical in it's stead:::
Slowing down inside a world that seems hell-bent on speeding up.
Creating Space to launch her Next Big Thing into the world.
And trusting, from this humble perch of breath, blank-ness & dappled morning light....
...the hallowed Thing, would, indeed emerge.
At this time of year, I always feel a tremendous pull inward.
To momentarily drop out (somewhat) from the tempo of the dominant culture swirling all around me.
Nature works this way, too.
If we look at a plant, we see that it's petals have momentarily fallen.
It's life force is hidden beneath the ground.
The leaves, stems, flowers temporarily remove their grandeur from the world.
So that the roots can gather strength.
So that the plant can take in what it needs from down below.
It's the proverbial pause which refreshes.
The white space from whence all vibrant colors shall thus ensue.
It is the hazy space inside the Dream - that calls us to linger just a minute more - before we awaken to another day, season, year.
I wanna invite you to consider the ways you are taking (or not taking, as the case may be) some space for yourself inside this time of year.
Winter provides us with a marvelous opportunity to seed the person we want to become inside the coming year.
The cold - the quiet - the invitation to bundle up, put on the kettle, read a book (!) or just lay there for a moment in repose.
It all serves a larger purpose.
In the weeks to come, I want to dive into what it is to Manifest a Dream. To take something that lives in the cloudy, ephemeral passages of the mind and spirit and how to translate that down into the flesh-and-bone - Alive & Active - world in which our physical bodies dwell.
And so we start at the spot where Dreams pour forth. Acknowledging and honoring the Source of Inspiration, breath, Life.
*This week we focus on Creating Space. Within the mind. Within the body. Within our calendar week as well. For when we begin to talk about things like “manifesting”, what we are really referring to are Acts of Creation. And Creativity does not pour forth from a mind or heart or Life that is clogged or constricted. There must be vistas of Open Space within our worlds for the IDeas and Dreams to begin to collect and percolate.
Within this week, I invite you to contemplate the places where your world has maybe gotten a bit noisy, over-filled, cluttered. We begin to look for places where we can reign in the chit-chat and banter from the outside world so that we can listen for the Inner Voice to speak.
Some Ideas for Creating Space within your World:::
*Take a walk. 20 minutes in the Natural World. No IPhone or earbuds or travelling companion. Go out on the open road and see where it takes you.
*Meditation. You’ve heard it said before, to be sure, but it bears repeating. You want to dial down the monkey chatter of the mind a bit? Create some stillness in there first. Practice sitting and watching the breath for 5 minutes. Or the flicker of a candle flame. Or Walking or Movement Meditation of some sort. Set a timer and let yourself drop in (to whatever vehicle you choose) and be carried by the Wave.
*Sleep!!!. Really. YEs. Get back into bed and get some more!!! But maybe make it a Ritual like Waking up can be. Diffuse your favorite scent (lavender and chamomile are great for slowing down) inside your bedroom the hour before your head to bed. Turn off All the Screens during this window too. Pour yourself a cup of tea. Take a bath. REad a book. MAke love or have a quiet conversation (wherein you both say something that you’re thankful for). Put your legs up the wall for 10 minutes and take some long, slow, deep breaths. Honor this transition from wakeful-ness into sleep, from Doing into Simply Being. And let the Dreams take you.
*Schedule DownTime in your Week. An hour or two, once or twice a week where you have Absolutely NoThin’ Goin’ On. Do not pass go. Do not collect one million dollars. Do not go to yoga or check e-mail or listen to another podcast or fold the laundry or walk your neighbor’s dog. Allow this space to just be. Notice the incessant temptation to fill it with something “productive”. And then do whatever the hell else you choose. Doodle. Eat a delicious meal (maybe one that someone else prepared) & savor every bite. Take a nap. OR a jog. Or a ride. Whatever your spirit calls for - then Rinse & Repeat.
Above all - honor this season.
The one transpiring around you.
And the one that's at work inside your own body, heart, & Life at this time.
Let there be a gracious pause between the mighty steps you've taken in the year past - and the ones that await you in the year to come.
A lengthy check-in with your own, internal compass is what is called for when you wish to move into the beckoning path that lies ahead.